Urban development falling into the gutter: sanitation planning and ‘anti-politics' in Myanmar

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_27EC5637F745
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Urban development falling into the gutter: sanitation planning and ‘anti-politics' in Myanmar
Journal
Third World Quarterly
Author(s)
Sanchez Jérémie
ISSN
0143-6597
1360-2241
Publication state
Published
Issued date
15/07/2019
Language
english
Abstract
Urban development, and particularly the improvement of basic services delivery, is still approached in mostly technical terms by international development actors and municipalities of the Global South. Sanitation planning, for instance, remains the realm of engineers despite decades of evidence that conventional approaches focusing on infrastructure upgrading have failed to tackle socio-environmental challenges. Against this background, this paper explores sanitation planning in Mandalay, the second largest city of Myanmar. Here, the Asian Development Bank and a French consulting firm have seized the opportunity created by the country’s recent opening to embark with the municipality on a multi-million dollar scheme: the Mandalay Urban Services Improvement Project (MUSIP). Drawing upon insights from critical development studies, the paper argues that the MUSIP can be interpreted as an ‘anti-politics machine’ that ignored local needs and proposed disputable solutions to local sanitation challenges. The paper further explores how this machine jeopardised urban development in Mandalay more generally, and was eventually challenged by the municipality. The paper concludes that the case is not unique and illustrates how urban development is today being reshaped throughout Myanmar, while it also shows the continued relevance of the ‘anti-politics’ framework to understand contemporary urban development assistance projects.
Keywords
Anti-politics, sanitation, urban development, urbanisation, Myanmar, Mandalay
Create date
15/07/2019 10:30
Last modification date
21/08/2019 5:17
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